Friday, September 18, 2009

Looking for yourself

I want to write something, and I'm not up to La Roldana or No Impact Man at the moment.

I have a little notebook that I bought when I was in NY last year. It has the little M tabs all over it.

The notes are random, as usual.

I see more dogs in NY than LA.

Dressing a girl shaped like an oil barrel in a short pleated sky blue schoolgirl dress is just cruel
(this outside of the Met--there's a famous all girl's academy across the street)

But I came across some notes on black figure vases that were about seeing things not at all notated or described in the cards:

Late 6th c. BC Two soldiers in a chariot - their horses cross noses while they embrace - one helmet under the shoulder of the other - two side horses look to the side of a woman who holds out grain for them - What's happening?


same exact image on drinking cup - only information about artist and "betweeen eyes, chariot" though in this one only one is wering a lemet and the the horse and man both look like they're nuzzling into the other


56.171.43 - Fascinating that he talks about the lion and the dog (Maltese) on the other side without mentioning that the Satyr with Dionysus has an erection and the two youths with the dog look like they're about to get together. I love "not entirely overcome their animal actives (? I can't read my writing)

I just think it's interesting that I'm still looking for myself in history. I know that there are not a lot of instances of gays, and most of them are coded, but it's fascinating with the Greeks. Some of it is sexual, some of it is affectionate, but it's interesting how it is not curated. And I'm sure many of the men who wrote these cards were gay themselves, though who knows how closeted or not they were. I just realized it's an activity that feels unique to being gay. Sure, others look for themselves in representation; I've been part of the "did you know so and so is Jewish" conversation, and I'm sure it's common with everyone who is not portrayed in some way in movies, art, etc. And I know there's an invisibility in Western art for a lot of groups and I'm not denying that at all, and yet...

there's something different about sometimes even seeing something that feels starkly pointed and not having it named. To have it ignored, elided, refused. To have it possibly represented, and thne have someone say "You're wrong, it's not that." I'm not sure, now, with all the representations of gays in the media that young men and women still do this, but I imagine they do. It's still not commonplace enough to not warrant note. And, for my money, I see most of it as about sex and not affection. Same sex affection and love still upset people. Witness: marriage debate.

Perhaps that's why I found myself looking deeply into a krater with two men embracing made over 25 centuries ago and wishing it would tell me something about myself, or give me an ancestor.

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